Shell of the Week: The Amber Melampus
The Amber Melampus, Creedonia succinea (Pfeiffer, 1854), is another local member of the Ellobiidae, a family of air-breathing snails. Shells reach about 3.5 mm (about 1.4 inch), are oval-elongate, translucent, very fragile, thin, with a glossy surface and no perceptible sculpture. The aperture is large, and typically bears two columellar plaits, or “teeth,” with the posterior (“top”) tooth twice as large as the anterior one. The shell color is variable, generally translucent amber, light-brown, or light-yellow. The Amber Melampus may be found in mangroves and in the area immediately above the high tide line in quiet bays with sandy-mud bottoms. The shell in the photo was found by Jim Scatterday beneath the bark of red mangrove trees on the east end of Sanibel Island.
The Amber Melampus, Creedonia succinea. Photos by James F. Kelly.